Aspen HYSYS | Blog Series

Aspen HYSYS®, much more than a process simulator

Check out our blog series, covering Upstream, Midstream, Refining, and Safety applications, to hear industry best practices, learn tech tips, and discover recent innovations made possible by Aspen HYSYS.

October 03, 2016 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment
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The “Tech” Maturity of Your Refinery: Where You Stand and How to Move Up

The “Tech” Maturity of Your Refinery: Where You Stand and How to Move Up

While the world of crude oil refining has seen significant developments in process simulation, many refiners continue to leave money on the table by not taking full advantage of the growing range and sophistication of process optimization technology. To understand how your refinery and its process engineers can better use process simulation to improve profit margins, it is important to consider your company’s level of maturity in leveraging process optimization technology. 

 

Every refinery can be broadly classified in one of the following five maturity levels.

Maturity Level Zero: These refineries do not yet have the culture of using process simulation technology to support their operations.

Maturity Level One: These refineries have rigorous process models developed for specific units that the process engineers use on an ad-hoc basis for operational troubleshooting.

Maturity Level Two: The next level of maturity occurs when process engineers have process simulation models set up so they can be leveraged by plant engineers through familiar interfaces such as Excel® for operational troubleshooting or root-cause analysis. The process simulation models are calibrated to match the actual refinery operations data from a point in its recent past.

Maturity Level Three: These refineries are at a higher technological maturity level, with process simulation models hooked up to real-time operations data. This allows them to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for their processes and equipment on an ongoing basis, and enables engineers to make informed operational decisions. These refineries also have capabilities in place to regularly update the models used by their planning tools, using rigorous process simulation models, so that the refineries consistently produce the most optimal plans.

Maturity Level Four: At the pinnacle of technological maturity are those employing a refinery-wide process simulation model. Process engineers in these refineries bring valuable insights into the planning and strategy divisions by bringing a more accurate assessment of profit margins for operational improvements, strategic capital project evaluations and more.

Download this free white paper to learn about the five applications that are critical for refineries to improve their technological maturity in order to achieve best-in-class operational efficiency.

Learn new ways to benefit from using Aspen HYSYS.

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  • April 20, 2017 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    Gain Deeper Insights Into Your Distillation Column Operations

    Distillation columns are critical pieces of equipment for many process industries, especially oil refineries. When refinery operators observe issues with their column operations such as column weeping and flooding, they typically resort to what they have learned from their past experiences to relieve the situation. These ad-hoc methods are available only to those operators who have had years of experience with that unit. Furthermore, these operational tweaks may only provide temporary relief and could lead to non-optimal functioning of the broader process unit. In addition, the lack of insight into the internal operations of the column forces refineries to operate columns very conservatively to meet product specifications. This situation causes additional energy to be consumed in reboilers and reflux condensers, increasing costs. The ideal solution to this problem sheds light on the root cause of operational issues without requiring a unit shutdown or expensive physical inspections. Read this blog to learn more!

  • January 25, 2017 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    Learn How a European Refinery Saved Millions by Optimizing their Crude Preheat Train Network

    In a previous blog titled “Reduce Energy Costs in Refineries by Better Management of Heat Exchangers,” I described how energy consumption in a refinery can be affected by the layout of the heat exchanger network. Rigorous simulation of heat exchanger units, as well as the simulation of operations of the distillation units in the context of the broader refinery process simulation, allows engineers to identify opportunities to enhance the performance of their refinery process by improving their energy utilization. This is made possible by the latest advanced process simulation software that provides rigorous simulation of heat exchanger and column operations within the broader process simulation. Now you have an opportunity to see how a European refinery put this into practice and saved millions…

  • December 20, 2016 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    The Refinery-Wide Simulation Model of the Future

    In a previous blog post, published in early November 2016, I referred to a “refinery-wide process simulation model of the future” that can rigorously analyze the entire refinery. I explained that such a model could estimate the impact of potential operational improvements on the refinery’s bottom line. Although I described the tremendous opportunities such a model would open up for refineries worldwide, there is nothing more exciting than seeing a demonstration of how a refinery-wide process model would actually help in real world refinery applications. Check out this video of an actual refinery-wide process simulation model developed in Aspen HYSYS®.

  • November 29, 2016 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    Reduce Energy Costs in Refineries by Better Management of Heat Exchangers

    Heat exchangers play a very critical role in how well a refinery manages its energy requirements. For instance, the fouling up of crude pre-heat train heat exchangers are estimated to cost refineries worldwide around $4.5 Billion. The heat exchanger network layout in a refinery can impact its fuel consumption considerably. In addition, the fouling up of heat exchangers reduces energy utilization and increases fuel consumption overall. To avoid this, heat exchangers must undergo routine cleaning and maintenance. The challenge for refineries is determining the optimal time to remove each of the heat exchangers for maintenance so that profits are not impacted. Read this blog to learn how the latest innovations in process simulation technology help refiners better manage their heat exchanger network.

  • November 01, 2016 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    The Refinery-wide Simulation Model of the Future has Arrived

    Refineries worldwide facing declining profit margins are craving every bit of optimization they can achieve from their refining process. Imagine having a tool to rigorously analyze the entire refinery-wide process and estimate the impact of potential operational improvements on the bottom line. And imagine that this tool can be maintained in-house without relying on expensive, third-party services. Is it too good to be true? No. The refinery-wide simulation you’ve imagined is here, today...

  • October 24, 2016 by Katherine Hird / 0 Comment

    The Perfect Pair - BLOWDOWN™ Technology in Aspen HYSYS®

    Confession: I’m a terrible cook. My recipe book is small and limited, frozen dinners fill my freezer, and I’m confident the smoke detectors in my kitchen are working after experiencing a few (unplanned) fire drills. Despite the fact that I'm far from being the next Emeril Lagasse, I'm an excellent food-tester and I know a good meal when I taste it. That being said, when it comes to food…some pairs are just made for one another.

  • September 19, 2016 by Jennifer Dyment / 0 Comment

    Push Process Performance with Accurate Modeling Insights

    With limited knowledge of the clearance behind you, you might risk hitting another vehicle in a tight parking lot. You can avoid an accident by leaving extra space and readjusting multiple times. This will take longer, however, and may invite potential ridicule from anyone watching. Like parking a car, it’s important to have insight into your constraints when operating a gas plant. Without such insights, buffers need to be put into place to ensure process units in the plant operate consistently within the constraints set by production specifications, environmental regulations and equipment limitations. This is especially true for the Sulfur Recovery Unit …

  • September 06, 2016 by Katherine Hird / 0 Comment

    Time is money and process safety projects need to stop costing you

    Transcription errors are easy to make and far too common in expense reports. What do expense reports have to do with process safety or even the process industry for that matter? Well, a lot actually. What if the same kind of transcription error that occurred with my expense report happened in your pressure relief analysis work? Suddenly the consequences are severe and the stakes are high, as proper safety work protects the equipment that we design, the processes we optimize, and most importantly…

  • August 24, 2016 by Sandeep Mohan / 0 Comment

    Sustaining Refinery Margins: How to Make Planning Tools More Effective

    Blog Abstract: Refineries worldwide are facing declining profit margins, and improving those margins is complicated by new markets, new feedstocks and new regulations coming into play. Decisions on what crude oil to process, what product slate to produce, and how to operate the refinery can have a huge impact on profit margins. To make the best decisions possible, refineries rely on planning software. Unfortunately, over time changes in feedstocks, product demand and operational and capacity issues lead to the planning models in the software becoming outdated. These outdated models lead to suboptimal decision-making, which could cost a refinery millions of dollars in profit. Learn how the latest version of Aspen HYSYS® presents a streamlined workflow to maintain your refinery planning models…

  • August 01, 2016 by Jennifer Dyment / 0 Comment

    Using Unified Technology to do More with Less

    My vacation photos from a year ago are stuck on my camera. To share them would require the tedious task of hooking up my camera to my computer and transferring the images. Using the unified, multipurpose technology of my smart phone, I can now take better quality photos and share them instantly with friends and family. In the same way smart phones drive efficiency in our daily lives, a powerful, multipurpose solution could open opportunities your organization to save time and money, and expand the range of analyses you can do. All of these are especially attractive in a down market when resources and staff are leaner than ever. The disparate solutions for various engineering tasks are one barrier to achieving this level of efficiency. Many organizations may find themselves settling for separate simulation tools that require manual data transfer, wasting time and risking errors. Learn how to cut your design time in half by eliminating multiple simulation tools used for the same gas plant…